Category Archives: Home Care

Changing the Bed Linens In Sickness and In Health

According to Microbiologist, Phillip Tierno of New York University

our bed linens can “quickly blossom into a botanical park of bacteria and fungus.”

If left for too long, the microscopic life within the wrinkles and folds of our bed sheets can even make us sick,

> We can recall – years ago – the bed linens in any acute care facility (e.g., hospital) the bed linens were changed daily.   Food for thought <<

 

Humans naturally produce roughly 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year. When it’s hot and humid outside, this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium.”

In a recent study that assessed the level of fungal contamination in bedding, researchers found that a test sample of feather and synthetic pillows that were 1 1/2 to 20 years old contained as many as 16 species of fungus each.

And it’s not just your own microbial life you’re sleeping with. In addition to the fungi and bacteria that come from your sweat, sputum, skin cells, and vaginal and anal excretions, you also share your bed with foreign microbes.

These include animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, dust mite debris and feces, and finishing agents from whatever your sheets are made from, to name a few.

Tierno says all that gunk becomes “significant” in as little as a week. And unclean bedding still exposes you to materials that can trigger the sniffing and sneezing, since the microbes are so close to your mouth and nose that you’re almost forced to breathe them in.

“Even if you don’t have allergies per se, you can have an allergic response,” Tierno said.

Another reason your sheets get dirty quickly has little to do with your behavior or sweat patterns — the issue is simply gravity.

“Just like Rome over time was buried with the debris that falls from gravity, gravity is what brings all that material into your mattress,” Tierno said.

One to two weeks of this buildup is enough to leave anyone with a scratchy throat — especially those with significant allergies or asthma. (One in six Americans has allergies.)

“If you touched dog poo in the street, you’d want to wash your hands,” Tierno said.

“Consider that analogous to your bedding. If you saw what was there — but of course you don’t see it — after a while you have to say to yourself, ‘Do I want to sleep in that?’

So what does Dr. Tierno suggest?

To stem the invisible tide, he said, sheets should be washed once a week — >> More Often when bed linens are visibly soiled and an infection is being treated <<


Proper ways to handle soiled linens:

There is now a common understanding that linens, once in use, are usually contaminated and could be harboring microorganisms such as MRSA and VRE.

Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that healthcare professionals should “handle contaminated textiles and fabrics with a minimum agitation to avoid contamination of air, surfaces, and persons.” Even one of the leading nursing textbooks, Fundamentals of Nursing, states, “Soiled linen is never shaken in the air because shaking can disseminate secretions and excretions and the micro organisms they contain.” This text also states, “…linens that have been soiled with excretions and secretions harbor microorganisms … can be transmitted to others.”

According to Fundamentals of Nursing, when handling linens in any acute care and healthcare facility:

1. You should always wash your hands after handling a patient’s bed linens.

2. You should hold soiled linen away from your uniform.

3. Soiled linen is never shaken in the air because shaking can disseminate the micro-organisms they contain.

4. Linen from one patient’s bed is never (even momentarily) placed on another patient’s bed.

5. Soiled linens should be placed directly into a portable linen hamper or tucked into a pillowcase and the end of the bed before it is gathered up for disposal in the linen hamper or linen chute.

 

To read this article in its entirety – please click on the following link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-often-to-wash-bed-sheets-2017-6

 

C Diff Foundation Welcomes Linda Jablonski, MS, BSN, RN-BC – Director Of Nursing

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WELCOME

We are pleased to welcome Linda Jablonski, MS, BSN, RN-BC, to the C Diff Foundation.   Linda presides as the Director of Nursing of the C Diff Foundation’s Global Community Education & Outreach Program

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Linda Jablonski has been in the Nursing profession for over 22 years. A Graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Masters at Kean College of New Jersey. Linda was a Special Education Instructor and Counselor prior to entering Nursing and her Thesis was on Preventing Violence Through Education or PTE. The major component of her thesis was Community Outreach. Linda worked her way through school as a Certified Nurses Aide and Home Health Aid which developed the experience and passion in the Home Care setting. Today Linda is a Director of Nursing for a Home Health agency and works at providing quality care, continued education to staff, and speaking to community groups to provide education in Infection Prevention (C.diff., MRSA & Superbugs) and Antibiotic Resistance Awareness and Stewardship Programs.

Home Health Care Information for Both Physicians and Patients

What is Home Health Care?

At its basic level, “home health care” means exactly what it sounds like – medical care provided in a patient’s home. Home health care can include a range of  care given by skilled medical professionals, including skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Home health care can also include skilled, non-medical care, such as medical social services or assistance with daily personal activities provided by a highly qualified home health aide.

As the Medicare program describes, home health care is unique as a care setting not only because the care is provided in the home, but the care itself is “usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective” as care given in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

When we say “home care” a common thought is senior care.  However; in  today’s society wellness draining diagnosis occur in every age group. Some of the more chronic, long-term illnesses greatly benefit from receiving home health care vs extended stays in acute care facilities and other health care in-patient services depending upon individual living situations and over-all health conditions.

Who qualifies for Home Health Care?

Each individual must contact their insurance provider to inquire about this skilled care provided within their home.  There may be co-pays per visit, limitations of the number of visits per episode and per calendar year, there may additional stipulations and should be understood by the patient and their families prior to discussing with a Medicare enrolled Physician.

To be eligible for Medicare home health services a patient must have Medicare Part A

and/or Part B.

To  be eligible for Home Health Care Services: (1)

  • Be confined to home.
  • Need Skilled Services.
  • Be Under the Care Of a Medicare -enrolled Physician.
  • Receive Services Under a Plan Of Care Established and Reviewed by a Physician and Have Had a Face-to-Face Encounter With a Physician or Allowed Non-Physician Practioner (NPP).  Care Must Be Furnished By or Under Arrangements Made by A Medicare-Participating Home  Home Health Agency (HHA).
  • Patient Eligibility—Confined to Home
    Section 1814(a) and Section 1835(a)
    of the Act specify that an

    individual is considered
    confined to the home” (homebound) if the following two criteria are met:
    First Criteria: One of the Following must be met:
    1. Because of illness or injury, the individual needs the aid of supportive devices such as crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers; the use of special transportation; or the
    assistance of another person to leave their place of residence
    2.  Have a condition such that leaving his or her home is medically contraindicated.

    Second Criteria Both of the following must be met:
    1. There must exist a normal inability to leave home.
    2. Leaving home must require a considerable and taxing effort.

     

     

    Home Health Aids May Be Included In the Home Health Care Assessment and Assigned To Assist With Personal Care – Activities of Daily Living  (ADL’s), Bathing, Feeding, Dressing, and Walking.

    To learn more about Home Health Care Nursing and being treated in the home environment, listen to Linda Jablonski, MS, BSN, RN-BC – Director of Nursing Home Health.   Click on the C.diff. radio logo below to listen to the podcast.

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Sources:

(1) CMS  (article se1436)  https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/se1436.pdf

A Good Night’s Sleep Can Be a Challenge Without Adding An Illness

Sleep Can Be A Challenge—-

Insomnia — the lack of adequate sleep, with the challenges in altered health can leave one feeling tired all the time. There are many things you can do to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Here are a few ideas to gain the sleep you need:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Try to avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, as it may keep you awake at night.  Also use the restroom before turning in to avoid those middle of the night visits  to the bathroom.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night. Some people watch television, read a book, listen to soothing music.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
  • Have a comfortable mattress, a pillow you like, and enough blankets for the season.
  • Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
  • Make an effort to get outside in the sunlight each day – even if it means standing out the front door or on the balcony for at least fifteen minutes a day. Natural Vitamin D is beneficial.
  • Be careful about when and how much you eat later in the day. Large meals close to bedtime may keep you awake, but a light snack in the evening can help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine – not only does it promote a fluid shift and can cause bowel elimination,  Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and hot chocolate) can also keep you awake.
  • Drink fewer beverages in the evening. Waking up to go to the bathroom and turning on a bright light break up your sleep.
  • Remember that alcohol won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
  • After turning off the light, give yourself about 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re still awake and not drowsy, get out of bed and try to relax in another comfortable area. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed and try again.

Fighting a cold or Flu can also disrupt a good night’s sleep.  Try using extra pillows to elevate your head, keep the room a bit cooler, having a box of tissues near the bedside with a trash container near the bed will also help, and a glass or bottle of water near the bedside will also alleviate a visit to the kitchen for a drink when attempting to fall asleep.

Sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. How much sleep is enough? Sleep needs vary from person to person and change as people age. (1)

Consider these sleep guidelines for different age groups.

How much sleep do you need?

Newborns

  • 16-18 hours

Preschool-aged Children

  • 11-12 hours

School-aged Children

  • At least 10 hours

Teens

  • 9-10 hours

Adults (including older adults)

  • 7-8 hours

Sleep-related difficulties – typically called sleep disorders – affect many people. Major sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia – an inability to fall or stay asleep that can result in functional impairment throughout the day.
  • Narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness; episodes of narcolepsy are sometimes called “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – an unpleasant “creeping” sensation associated with aches and pains throughout the legs that can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Apnea – interrupted sleep caused by periodic gasping or “snorting” noises or momentarily suspension of breathing.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a sleep disorder, it may be important to receive an evaluation by a healthcare provider.

We hope this information has been helpful in providing you with suggestions on how to combat sleepless nights and improve your health – even during an illness.

For more information visit the CDC’s website http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Sleep/

 

(1) http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Sleep/

Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd – New EPA Approved Amended Label For Excelyte® Incorporates Kill Claims for Adenovitus,Norovirus,Rhinovirus,Rotavirus

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Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved an amendment to the Company’s master label for its Excelyte® disinfecting solution.

The Company’s new EPA-approved label incorporates kill claims for adenovirus, norovirus, rhinovirus and rotavirus, which are considered non-enveloped viruses

The Company’s amended EPA-approved label for Excelyte® will continue to include previously EPA-approved kill claims for: (i) various pathogens including, but not limited to, Mycobacterium bovis (Tuberculosis), Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), H1N1 influenza virus (swine flu) and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV); (ii)  hospital-acquired pathogens such as Clostridium difficile spores (C. diff) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) as well as a carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) known as Klebsiella pneumoniae (NDM-1); (iii)  high-risk blood-borne pathogen human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); (iv) the food-borne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli (E. coli); and (v) Yeast, Candida albicans.

These viruses have resulted in serious problems for chain restaurants, cruise ships, and other establishments operating in the food, health or hospitality industries.

Non-enveloped viruses are more resistant to disinfectants than enveloped viruses, many of which are already listed on the Company’s master label.  EPA registered hospital disinfectants such as Excelyte® that have claims against non-enveloped viruses are capable of killing both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses on non-porous environmental surfaces.  This group of viruses can cause serious gastrointestinal, stomach, respiratory and eye infections in humans who have been exposed.

Norovirus is highly contagious and is spread through contaminated food, water and environmental surfaces.  Norovirus infections have been an ongoing challenge in the food, healthcare and hospitality industries and recent outbreaks in chain restaurants and cruise lines have underlined the need to eradicate these viral infections.

Although the Company is currently focused on selling Excelyte® to the oil and gas production industry, the amended EPA label will provide increased opportunities for the use of Excelyte® in the food, healthcare and hospitality industries.  The Company continues to seek strategic partners to assist in the development, marketing and distribution of Excelyte® into these markets.

David R. LaVance, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We have pursued the addition of these non-enveloped viruses due to the serious and deadly outbreaks that have been reported nationally and internationally over the past few years.  Norovirus, in particular, has caused significant problems for a major fast food chain.  With the increasing ineffectiveness of antibiotics, it is important to use antibacterial products, such as Excelyte®, to eliminate pathogens before they infect people.”

About Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd.

Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. is a publicly-traded company that operates through its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, I.E.T., Inc.  All of the Company’s products and services are marketed and sold under the umbrella brand name, EcoTreatments.

The Company markets and sells its anolyte disinfecting solution under the Excelyte® brand name, which is produced by the Company’s proprietary EcaFlo® equipment that utilizes an electrolytic process known as electrochemical activation to reliably produce environmentally responsible solutions for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

Excelyte® solutions are EPA-registered, hard-surface disinfectants and sanitizers approved for hospital-level use and are also approved for use as a biocide in the oil and gas industry.  The products can be used anywhere there is a need to control bacteria and viruses. 

The Company’s EcaFlo® equipment also produces a cleaning solution that the Company markets under the Catholyte Zero brand name.  Catholyte Zero solutions are environmentally friendly cleansers and degreasers for janitorial, sanitation and food processing uses.  To learn more, visit www.ecotreatments.com.

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link:

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/PH84506.htm

 

 

 

C. diff. Infection (CDI) Recommendations For Laundry At Home and More

 

washingMachineWhile combating a  C. difficile infection  at home, it is recommended that soiled linens be handled as little as possible to prevent microbial contamination of persons handling the linen.

Heavily soiled linens should be laundered separately and not with other clothing or other linens.

Satisfactory Laundering has been achieved in “hot” water temperatures cycles in home washers while utilizing a chlorine bleach and laundry soap. (Each washer machine is different. Please contact the manufacturer for accurate water capacity when calculating bleach ratio).

You can use the Clorox Germicidal Bleach for laundry in the same way and amount as you would with Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

Additional Information:

https://www.cloroxprofessional.com/products/clorox-healthcare-bleach-germicidal-cleaners/efficacy-claims/

Killing C. difficile Spores

Personal Protection
Wear appropriate barrier protection such as gloves, gowns, masks or eye covering.
Cleaning Procedure
Fecal matter/waste must be thoroughly cleaned from surfaces/objects before disinfection by application with clean cloth, mop  saturated with product intended for disinfection. Cleaning should include vigorous wiping and/or scrubbing until visible soil is removed. Special attention is needed for high-touch surfaces. Surfaces in patient rooms should be cleaned in an appropriate manner, with restrooms and other dirty areas cleaned last. Do not reuse soiled cloths.  (Paper towels are beneficial for infection-control)

Infectious Materials Disposal
Cleaning materials used that may contain feces/wastes should be disposed of immediately in accordance with local regulations for infectious materials disposal.
For Killing Clostridium difficile Spores
Use 1 part bleach (1 cup)  to 8 parts (8 cups) water to achieve a 1:9 dilution (~8800 ppm available chlorine) before use. Clean hard, nonporous surfaces by removing gross filth. Apply 1:9 solution and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse and air dry.Prepare fresh solution daily.

Do not use on non-stainless steel, aluminum, silver or chipped enamel.

Read more at https://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-germicidal-bleach-concentrated/#K7fPM0Hj23oBbhlv.99

Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaners EPA Registered to Kill C. diff. Spores in 3 Minutes

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Clorox Healthcare Bleach

Available in Wipes and Solution to meet the needs of facilities and families…….

  • FAST: EPA–registered to kill C. difficile spores in 3 minutes* — the fastest contact time available.**
  • PROVEN: Supported by clinical studies to reduce transmission of C. difficile spores.
  • RECOMMENDED: Meets CDC, SHEA and APIC guideline recommendations for killing C. difficile spores.
  • EFFECTIVE: A leading US hospital reported saving up to $203,000 in costs associated with treating C. difficile infections.

https://www.cloroxprofessional.com/products/clorox-healthcare-bleach-germicidal-cleaners/at-a-glance/

 

https://www.cloroxprofessional.com/products/clorox-healthcare-bleach-germicidal-wipes/at-a-glance/